Roberta Blackman-Woods – desperately sabre-rattling on her MP’s expenses

by Stephen Tall on March 25, 2010

Ah, the old tricks are always the best. Readers may recall during the Henley by-election campaign, the Tories issued an empty threat to sue the Lib Dems “unless the Lib Dems withdraw a leaflet and remove claims from their website by noon”. Of course, they didn’t do it but a gullible media ran with the story anyway.

Fast forward a couple of years, and it seems Labour’s Roberta Blackman-Woods is apeing the Tories’ tactics. Here’s what Politics.co.uk has to say:

Roberta Blackman-Woods MP (City of Durham) has instructed solicitors to inform the Liberal Democrat candidate that she must apologise for making false allegations about the MP’s record on expenses. …

Roberta said, “The Liberal Democrats are spreading falsehoods about my record on expenses and while I believe in putting up with the rough and tumble of political debate, this kind of slander can not be allowed to perpetuate. They are saying that I was forced to make a repayment for over-claiming. This is not true and I have a letter from the House of Commons Department of Resources confirming that.”

Hmmm. So we can also assume that Dr Blackman-Woods has instructed solicitors to sue her local newspaper, The Northern Echo, too – after all their website reports her 2008/09 expenses claims as follows:

ROBERTA BLACKMAN-WOODS – £23,196.27
DURHAM CITY – Labour

Monthly claims for £57.50 under the heading ‘furniture payment’. Her records include the purchase of a sofa bed for £1,095 and a sofa for £749, which appear to have been made on credit, with a payment listed of £57.50. She also repaid £1,330 that had been overpaid for mortgage interest.

The Lone Voice blog notes that this £1,330 re-payment was triggered by a letter from the Commons authorities – you can view a copy of it here.

Roberta Blackman-Woods’ Lib Dem opponent at the coming general election will be Carol Woods, who needs a swing of just 4% to win. You can help Carol by making a donation to her campaign here.

Dr Blackman-Woods scores a high 83% on LDV’s authoritarian ranking thanks to her support for ID cards and detention without trial, and her opposition to freedom of speech. Click here to share the news on Twitter; click here to share it via Facebook.

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